Even though pasta and cheese dishes were first recorded in late 13th century Italy, mac and cheese was popularised by US President Thomas Jefferson who, having dined on it in Paris, famously served it up as a macaroni pie at one of his state dinners. Since 1937 when it was first sold as a boxed dinner, mac and cheese has become one of America’s favourite comfort foods.
There are so many ways to cook mac and cheese. The recipe I’ve put together here is influenced by my Caribbean heritage. In Jamaica, mac and cheese is a renowned side-dish. I love it most with BBQ jerk chicken, and just about any combination of a traditional Jamaican Sunday lunch.
Click here to view the video version of this recipe.
Bud Pairing: The sweet, spicy flavours of the Alaskan Purple blend well with this recipe giving a relaxing and long lasting cerebral high. This recipe provides approximately 15-20mg of THC per portion for 6 people.
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Oven cooking time: 30 minutes. Serves 6 people.
MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
250g/ 8½ oz Gouda
100g/3½ Monterey Jack
2 tbsp canna-butter*
1 large minced shallot
½ tbsp Hot Pepper sauce
1 tbsp Dijon and powder mustard
40g / 1.4 oz Butter
40g/1.4 oz Flour
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Small bunch of Thyme
Breadcrumbs (1 slice)
Salt and pepper to season
- In a small pan, cook the finely chopped shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a gentle heat; add the thyme after a couple of minutes. When the shallots are translucent in colour, after approx. 5 minutes, discard the thyme and remove the shallots from the cooker. Set to one side for later.
- Whilst the shallots are cooking, place the macaroni into a pan of boiling water and cook for 6 minutes only, then remove from the cooker and drain. When the pasta has cooled slightly, add some butter or olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Set it aside for later.
- Make the Roux: Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan. When it reaches its bubble point, whisk in the flour a little bit at a time until fully incorporated. Let the roux cook for one minute. Combine your milk and cream together in a jug. Slowly whisk this into the roux on a medium-low heat. When completed allow the sauce to cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the canna-butter, the Dijon and power mustard, hot pepper sauce and shallots to the sauce. Stir well to combine.
- Remove the sauce from the cooker before adding the gouda and gruyere cheeses. Once the cheese is melted into the sauce, add the drained macaroni and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper, and place in a prepared oven pan or individual ramekins or cocottes.
- Make the Topping: Mix the breadcrumbs and finely chopped or grated Monterey jack together with a ½ tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle evenly over the top of the dish.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 170c/ or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and allow to cool a little before serving.
- *Dosage – Canna-oil was made from 240g of MCT oil to 14g of Alaskan Purple bud (@20%+ THC). I used 2 tablespoons of this canna mixture for this recipe.
- Pull sauce off the cooker before adding the cheese, otherwise you may end up with an oily mixture.
- Try other combinations: There are a variety of cheeses one can use with this recipe – cheddar, parmesan, blue stilton, smoked gruyere, are all popular alternatives. You can also add pancetta to the topping and rosemary instead of thyme.